10 Things You Must Do in Kyrgyzstan

Lakes, Canyons, Forests, Bazaars and more

by Munisa Bairambekova
Do you know that feeling when you see untouched beauty? Breathtaking mountains with open valleys? It somehow turns you on. This is exactly the feeling tourists get in Kyrgyzstan. Travelers are attracted to this country for its breathtaking beauty, fantastic hikes, distinctive culture and absolutely unforgettable experiences. Endless valleys with huge mountains around, crystal clear turquoise lakes, wild eagles, canyons - this country has everything. Thanks to numerous parks and tree-lined alleys, this is the greenest city in all of Central Asia. You can't leave Kyrgyzstan without being unforgettably impressed and inspired, but to make your trip even more incredible, follow us to find out the 10 best things you can do in Kyrgyzstan.

1. Take a dip in the icy Issyk-Kul.

If you don't know what to do in Kyrgyzstan, heading to Issyk-Kul is a good place to start. Issyk-Kul, the second largest high mountain lake in the world, is one of the most famous places in Kyrgyzstan. There are plenty of places to swim on the northern shore. The landscapes surrounding the lake are quite picturesque.

2. Stay at the yurt camp.

One of the most interesting and unusual things to do in Kyrgyzstan. If you want to learn more about the nomadic culture of Central Asia, stay in a yurt camp. Many nomadic families open their yurts to visitors. You can spend a few nights with them, participate in their daily activities and learn the skills needed to survive as a nomad in the Kyrgyz mountains.

3. Test your trading skills at the Osh bazaar.

Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second city, is located in the heart of the mountains, a stone's throw from Uzbekistan's Fergana Valley. Locals say the city is older than Rome, and this is borne out by the fact that it is much more "traditional" than the capital, Bishkek. The city's bazaar is one of the largest in Central Asia and is a great place to test your bargaining skills!

4. Meet the golden eagle hunters.

Eagle hunting is a long-standing tradition in Central Asia. The practice of domestication of these birds was established by nomads who roamed the Central Asian steppes thousands of years ago and was passed down from generation to generation.

5. Go on a horseback ride.

One of the most wonderful ways to experience the country in true Kyrgyz style is to go horseback riding for one or more days. Even if you have never ridden a horse before, try to treat it as a new and exciting experience.

6. Natural hot springs bath.

You'll be happy to know that Kyrgyzstan has many natural hot springs if you like warmer water! Because they are so healthy, some of them are very popular. The best one is located in the fantastic Altyn-Arashan Valley.

7. Explore mystical canyons.

Despite being one of the smallest countries in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan never ceases to amaze with the diversity of its landscapes: from rugged terrain and sandstone gorges to magnificent mountain ranges, verdant valleys, hundreds of rivers and amazing canyons. Visit Ak-Sai, Fairy Tale, Kok-Moinok and Mars canyons to enjoy the unearthly beauty of Kyrgyzstan.

8. Take a walk through the heart of Bishkek.

Bishkek was probably not what has drawn you to Kyrgyzstan if you are here now. However, the capital of Kyrgyzstan has plenty of wonderful Soviet architecture, beautiful parks and Central Asian and international cuisine.

9. See the world's largest walnut forest at Arslanbob.

In the close proximity to the border with Uzbekistan, among the mountains of Babash-Ata, is the small town of Arslanbob. The largest walnut forest in the world is located here, and there are many hiking trails through the forest.

10. Learn how to build a traditional Kyrgyz yurt.

In Kyrgyzstan, yurts have been used for over a thousand years and are still built in the same way. They are a significant representative of Kyrgyz culture. It is certainly worthwhile to understand how yurts are built. It is much more fascinating than you can imagine!

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